CNM Ensemble Concert IV

Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 3:00p in the Concert Hall

Iowa Composers Forum Festival of New Music


Cyber Kitty MK-5 (2022)

Alexander POUTOUS

Hanna Rumora, violoncello

The Spring Festival (2023)

Pacey KANE

Cole Moorhead, alto saxophone I
Jenna Anderson, alto saxophone II
Lucas Wiese Ibarra, tenor saxophone
Emily Davisdon, baritone saxophone

Invocation No. 3


Michael Kylce, violin
Rebecca Vieker, viola
Kylie Little, viola
Hanna Rumora, violoncello

Winners of the 2023 Student Composer Competition

brief pause

PM 2.5, for trombone and electronics (2023)


Ty Waters, trombone
Jason Wise, electronics

Self-Immolation (2023)

Campbell HELTON

Alicia Alonso Maiz, violin
Luis Enrique Infante Hernandez, violin II
Kylie Little, viola
Christina Leigh Stephenson, violoncello

Increment, for clarinet and percussion (2010)


Sayyod Mirzomurodov, clarinet
McKenna Blenk, percussion

For Dreams Will be Cold, for mixed ensemble (2020)

Wenxin LI

Joshua Stine, flute
Sayyod Mirzomurodov, clarinet
Yestyn Griffith, violin I
Michael Kylce, violin II
Rebecca Vieker, viola
Hanna Rumora, violoncello
Neil Krzeski, piano
David Gompper, conductor

brief pause

Pynes, for flute and piano (2016)


Joshua Stine, flute
Neil Krzeski, piano

Spring Rounds (2023)

Timothy KRAMER

Joshua Stine, flute
Sayyod Mirzomurodov, clarinet
Michael Kylce, violin
Hanna Rumora, violoncello

And Unto Dust, for mixed ensemble and electronics (2014)

David VAYO

Joshua Stine, flute
David Cyzak, oboe
Sayyod Mirzomurodov, clarinet
Carlos Lopez Soria, bassoon
Kristin Ronning, horn
Neil Krzeski, piano
Yestyn Griffith, violin
Rebecca Vieker, viola
Hanna Rumora, violoncello
Natalia Terra, double bass
David Gompper, conductor

The Iowa Composers Forum

The Iowa Composers Forum (ICF) was founded in March of 1987 in Des Moines, IA, by seven composers who wished to create an environment for the performance and dissemination of music composed by Iowans. Over the intervening years, the ICF has presented more than 100 concerts and tour recitals of works by member composers. These concerts have featured the performances of over 800 works of new music, including works by student composers from the elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate level. The ICF has commissioned many new works, both unilaterally and in partnership with other organizations such as the Iowa Music Teachers Association and the Iowa Choral Directors Association. The ICF sponsors its own annual student composition competition, open to students studying at the collegiate level and earlier. 
     Our organization promotes the creation and performance of new concert music of all styles by composers of all ages. If you would like to join the Iowa Composers Forum, or make a donation toward our efforts, please visit our website at for complete information. 
     The Iowa Composers Forum would like to offer special thanks to Dr. Jerry M. Owen and Isaac Raymond Smith for their work adjudicating the 2023 Student Composer Competition.

Biographies and Program Notes

Cyber Kitty MK-5 is Alexander Poutous’s first work for solo cello. It was composed for Craig Hultgren to perform as part of a cello workshop at UNCC in January, 2023. The piece incorporates contrasting tempi and time signatures, and utilizes a unique modal scale in some parts and total dodecaphony in others. It took roughly 5 weeks to write.
Alexander Poutous is a second degree-seeking student at University of North Carolina at Charlotte pursuing a major in Music Composition. With a catalogue of works stretching back to 2006, he has written and recorded six studio albums of non-classical music and hopes to complete another this summer. His most recent endeavors at UNCC include a saxophone quartet, a percussion quartet, and a duet for mezzo-soprano and piano, and he also performs in the Men's Chorus on campus.

As a devout Christian, I cherish the blessing of prayer and the power that daily, sincere prayer unto the Father has given me. This piece attempts to put the feelings I experience when I pray into the form of music. The first theme is a chorale; its idyllic nature might signify the divinely given peace that comes from prayer. The second theme is more tumultuous—perhaps a portrayal of pleas for help or confessions of sins and petitions for forgiveness. The return to the first theme could represent the love from God we can feel after communing with Him. I know that God hears and answers our prayers and that we can find rest in Him. I hope that hearing this piece brings you a portion of the peace I feel when I pray.
Jacob Newton has studied piano and violin/viola since he was a young child. With the piano, Jacob has studied with several professors across the United States and competed at the state, national, and international levels. In 2019, Jacob performed as a soloist with the Odyssey Chamber Orchestra in Columbia, Missouri, and in 2021 attended the Musicians’ Institute at Brigham Young University. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 16 after winning first prize in the Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition. In addition to the piano, Jacob is a violist and participated in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony in Mesa, Arizona from 2015 to 2018. Currently, he is a member of the Preucil School String Orchestra and toured with the orchestra in Europe in 2022.
     Jacob is also an avid composer. At age 16, Jacob attended Interlochen’s NowBeat Project composition program and was given the 2022 Promising Young Talent award for his piece Cantus by the Vienna Classical Music Academy. His Ballade in F minor won third place in the Classic Pure Vienna International Composition Competition and was performed by the Iowa Composers Forum. An advocate of Romantic and post-Romantic composers, Jacob is particularly inspired by Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt. Jacob’s compositions have been performed across the United States and Europe in venues such as the Englert Theatre in Iowa City, the Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, the Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirche in Leipzig, and the Lobkowicz Palace and the Czech Museum of Music in Prague.
     Jacob currently studies the piano with Dr. Scott Holden (Brigham Young University) and Dr. Réne Lecuona (University of Iowa), and the viola with Marit Hervig (Preucil School of Music).

     "Particle pollution, or particulate matter, consists of particles that are in the air; including dust, dirt, soot and smoke, and drops of liquid. Particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller are known as Fine Particulate Matter or PM2.5. A typical human hair is 70 micrometers in width, which makes the Fine Particulate Matter about 30 times smaller than the width of a hair strand."
     This composition uses 30 data points gathered during the month of June in 2023 when smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted into the northern US. Each data point, representing the average measurement of PM2.5 in the atmosphere of Iowa on a particular day in June, were scaled and then mapped onto an EQ filter that modified a field recording made in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa. The pitch material heard in the alto trombone is derived from aspects of the Eb overtone series.
Brooke Joyce’s music has been described as “vividly pictorial” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “exceptionally gripping” (Los Angeles Times) and has been performed by soloists and ensembles around the world, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, the Brentano Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Nash Ensemble, and tenor James Gilchrist. He is the recipient of the Joseph Bearns Prize, the Wayne Peterson Prize, the Darius Milhaud Award, and many citations from the National Federation of Music Clubs and ASCAP. Brooke is the Composer-in-Residence at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, chair of the Iowa Composers Forum, and a founding faculty member of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic.

Self-Immolation is a one-movement string quartet inspired by the photographer Richard Hutter’s art piece, Microscopic Appropriation Series. The quartet’s title, meaning “to set oneself on fire”, was influenced by Hutter's experience of being burned alive. His photographs are altered by heat and are often shown in wildfire awareness exhibits. As demonstrated in Hutter’s works, wildfires bring personal suffering; this quartet aims to create empathy and inspire action against global warming. The piece is split into two parts: the physical and emotional pain of fire followed by grief and loss. I use extended techniques and off-set motifs to build trepidation before presenting a hymn-like lament, prompting reflection on how to move forward.
Campbell Helton is a multi-instrumentalist from Iowa studying composition with Drs. Stephen Mitton and Kevin Olson at Utah State University. She won concerto competitions on piano and violin with the Des Moines Symphony and Ottumwa Symphony. She was also concertmaster of four youth symphonies, including Iowa’s All-State Festival. Campbell has workshopped with composers Alyssa Weinburg and Gabriela Frank, and collaborated with pianist Dina Kasman, USU quartets studying under the Fry Street Quartet, and Roosevelt High School large ensembles. She’s been writing since a child, exploring transcending harmonies in choirs, symphonies, chamber ensembles, and solo piano. She is a songwriter and jazz musician, recently releasing her EP Bittersweet on all platforms.

Increment (2010) for clarinet and percussion, commissioned by Caleb Herron, is a work with a simple incrementing structural scheme that focuses on interaction between the two performers. The work was composed with the use of weighted interval sets, Markov chains, and various gesture-driven algorithms. The Common Music/GRACE algorithmic composition environment was utilized as well as several primitives programmed Max and Java.
Daniel Swilley is a German-American composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. His music and research have been presented at festivals and conferences such as June in Buffalo, SEAMUS, Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, Understanding Visual Music Symposium, NoiseFloor, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, Studio 300, Audiograft, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, College Music Society, as well as Society of Composer’s Inc. Swilley holds degrees in composition from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (DMA), Georgia State University (MM), and Valdosta State University (BM). His primary composition teachers have included Heinrich Taube, Sever Tipei, Robert Scott Thompson, and Scott Wyatt. Swilley is an Assistant Professor of Music (Composition, Theory, and Technology) at the University of Northern Iowa.

My husband and I had been in a long-distance relationship for nearly two years. The most difficult moments were not when we were apart, but when I had to watch them drive away after visits. The short-lived happiness of yesterday fresh in my mind, doubled the aching of the long and lonely anticipation of the coming days. In these times, I was reminded of the Chinese poem by Li Shutong saying “dreams will be cold after tonight’s farewell (今宵别梦寒).”
Wenxin Li is a native of Chongqing, China, and is currently teaching composition, theory and technology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Li’s music has been featured in a variety of festivals, including Aspen Music Festival, Composers Conference, SCI National Conference, RED NOTE New Music Festival, FSU New Music Festival, SPLICE Festival, Midwest Graduate Music Consortium, and Midwest Composers Symposium. Her music has also been performed by the JACK Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, H2 Quartet and Accroche Note. Li received her bachelor’s degree from Sichuan Conservatory of Music, master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is pursuing her PhD degree in composition at the University of Iowa under David Gompper.

Pynes, for flute and piano, was written for John McMurtery and Ashlee Mack. Over the course of the composition's nine minutes a single four-note pitch set, shared by both instruments, is gradually replaced by a different set of four notes: as each new pitch is added, one of the original four is removed. The work is structurally informed by an all-partition array created by Milton Babbitt, and its title is inspired by Vynes, a flute/piano work by Robert Morris that employs a similar form. The spelling of both Pynes and Vynes is yet another tribute to Babbitt, who used the term "lyne" to identify horizontal strands of pitches within his arrays.
James Romig endeavors to create music that reflects the fragile intricacy of the natural world, where isomorphic pattern and design exert influence on both small-scale iteration and large-scale structure, obscuring boundaries between content and form. Critics have described his work as "rapturous, slow-moving beauty" (San Francisco Chronicle), "developing with the naturalness of breathing" (The New Yorker), and "profoundly meditative... haunting" (The Wire UK). His Still, for solo piano, was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize. His electric guitar solo, "The Complexity of Distance," reached #8 on the Billboard classical crossover chart in 2023.

This work was written for Hub New Music for a concert in April 2023.  As I started Spring Rounds the war in Ukraine was raging. I was amazed and inspired by the bravery of the people of Ukraine to fight for their freedom, and I had to write something in response.  Rather than write a piece about the atrocities inflicted on the Ukrainians I wanted to write a piece about their hope for a better future and about the promise of Spring and renewed growth. This piece then operates in that tension between the horrors of war and the ability of the Ukrainians to continue to live and love in the face of tremendous adversity.  My musical solution was to base the work on the national anthem of Ukraine.  A musical symbol of strength, the anthem begins with the words “The glory of Ukraine has not yet perished, nor the will…” The piece begins slowly – like a circle dance – while motives drawn from the anthem present lighter gestures. The anthem soon emerges and shines over a stormy musical landscape.
Timothy Kramer's works have been performed by the Indianapolis, Detroit, Tacoma, and San Antonio Symphony Orchestras, North/South Consonance, the SOLI Ensemble, the ONIX Ensemble, the Detroit Chamber Winds, Luna Nova, Ensemble Mise-en, Hub New Music, and ~Nois.  He has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the MacDowell Colony, Meet the Composer, BMI, ASCAP, and the AGO, and commissions from the Midwest Clinic, the Utah Arts Festival, and the Detroit Chamber Winds, among others. He was Composer-Not-in-Residence with the San Francisco Choral Artists from 2019-2022.  His degrees are from Pacific Lutheran University (B.M.) and the University of Michigan (M.M., D.M.A.), and he was a Fulbright Scholar to Germany.  Originally from Washington State, he taught at Trinity University in San Antonio for 19 years, where he also founded CASA (Composers Alliance of San Antonio).  In 2010 he moved to Illinois College as Chair of Music and named the Edward Capps Professor of Humanities in 2013, and Professor Emeritus in 2020.  His works are published by Southern Music, Earnestly Music, Hinshaw, and Selah and are recorded on Calcante, North/South, Capstone, Parma, and Navona who released a CD of all his orchestral music with the Janáček Philharmonic. More information may be found at

And Unto Dust - Out of whispers and rustlings, tones emerge, gradually taking on energy and momentum, leading to a paroxysm.  All passion spent, the music subsides into mystical driftings, merging with the sonic dust from which it arose.
David Vayo is the Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory, Emeritus at Illinois Wesleyan University; he taught composition, improvisation and contemporary music at IWU for three decades. He has received awards and commissions from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, ASCAP, the Koussevitzky Music Foundations, the Saint Louis Symphony Society, and the University of Wisconsin. Five hundred performances and broadcasts of his compositions have taken place throughout the USA as well as in numerous countries in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
     Vayo performs on piano, keyboard harmonica, synthesizer and voice.  Since 2022 he has presented intimate themed concerts at his home that draw on many musical styles. Vayo holds an A.Mus.D. in Composition from The University of Michigan; his M.Mus. and B.Mus. degrees are from Indiana University, where his undergraduate majors were Composition and Jazz Studies.
ICF CNM concert photo